Tuesday, January 26, 2016

got a trench for the first time!

I'm so used to being mistaken as a local that sometimes I just play along. I get a kick out of seeing their reaction when they realise I'm actually Malaysian.

It's not so much because I speak so fluently that I can pass off as a native, but apparently due to my appearance. However, I'm sure there are times where they must think this Japanese grrl is just trying to show off her English, or being rude because she speaks on the phone in the train, or not having the manners due to eating while walking on the road.

There are times where being a foreigner gets you away with things, just as there are times where it's nice to blend in and not be noticed.

Just last weekend as I was walking past the Sannomiya station with my Swedish colleague, we bumped into one of the HR managers and his son who were just coming out of the exit. I had to made the effort to wave and smile at him though the encounter was a brief one.

Later I commented to Stefanski that if I was walking alone, no one would have seen me there. It's not that I had anything against the manager, but would be nice to just chill out and be part of the wallpaper... ne!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

hosting mikatan

This time around, I've had more activities packed into my year-end break compared to previous trips. Some of them have been quite impromptu, and I'm glad in many ways that I've been able to spend time with people whom I believe I needed to meet.

I had the pleasure of hosting some Japanese friends the previous week and last week, and also able to squeeze in a mini escapade to the Pearl of the Orient in between. Mikatan, who was in our dance group, had told me quite last minute that she was coming to visit Malaysia during our last Bible Study group of the year.

She was supposed to spend the night at my place and had wanted to meet my family, but due to some stomach discomfort decided to rest instead. She typed this message to my parents as we sat there at the backpackers hostel lobby.


I was so touched by her message, I wouldn't have known her thoughts until she came here. There were some other plans at first; and I wasn't sure if I could host her or even be around, so I was hesitant to promise a grand tour.

In the end, we managed to cover quite a lot of places; some I have not even been myself! I even brought her around different places to try some local delicacies.

Unfortunately, her stomach had a cultural shock, but she kept thanking me for bringing her around even after she left.

Recalling last Sunday's message on the topic of Hope, I thought how apt it was that sometimes the little that we do might have a big impact on others without us realising it. Sometimes we may need to go out of our way for someone, and it's easy to just stay in our comfort zone; but perhaps it's better to take that extra effort and look back at life without regrets.

Monday, January 11, 2016

quilt of love

I woke up today realising that I have been covered with Granma Wong's handiwork these few weeks. It was nice to just feel the fabrics as I wondered what must have gone through her mind as she worked the old sewing machine, matching the different pieces and sewed these blankets for her family members.

Even though she is no longer with us, her memory and legacy remains in our hearts. It's too bad the one she made for my parents' wedding is too tattered to be saved, but at least we still have some of the newer ones in good condition.

I wonder if I can not use them, so they can be preserved even longer!

Note : I realised after taking the picture, how the sunlight fell upon some parts of the quilt, in particular the golden and purple pieces. How notably royal.